Letting Go Of Steve

steveJobs had been teaching us to say goodbye to all that for decades — we just didn’t know it.

… in these final years, when the auditorium lights in would go down and the crowd would go wild for Jobs, who increasingly greeted his followers and touted the latest neat, new thing even as he wore the look of a person who was not going into that future with us.

He would be getting off here; we were to proceed without him … Let it go and look ahead was the message all along.
Hank Stueval in the Washington Post

Okay, I’m going to cry some more.

Such a lovely piece. Not that Steve’s death has sunk in—I can’t think of anything weirder than seeing the words Steve Jobs and Dead together. Was there ever anybody more alive, more publicly embracing of this temporary condition we call our lives. And Jobs and I had so much in common. Hippies who wouldn’t take direction from anybody, the kind of people who have to do things their own way. Perhaps that’s what made it so personal; I recognized his star—you know, the one by which you set your course. Not that my own outcome didn’t fall apart, but still, if you are born that way, you are. Continue reading “Letting Go Of Steve”

Bad For Babies?


Day care may prevent certain children from establishing a healthy relationship with their parents, a new study suggests.

The results show the more time fussy, irritable infants spend in day care, the less likely they are to develop a so-called secure attachment with their mothers. A secure attachment means babies are at ease exploring their surroundings, but can still seek comfort from their mom when they need to—they are not clingy or aloof.

From a glass half-full perspective, the findings also mean irritable infants do better when they’re mostly cared for by their parents or other family members.

Continue reading “Bad For Babies?”

The Dying Thing

dylanOh, right. Blog. Entries. Write. Timely. All this stuff to remember. I get so caught up in my own reading or in reading online of the various crises that sweep the web—and then there is real life, a blurry distinction if ever there was one. I feel like such a traitor to the San Francisco Chronicle, which was for so many years such a great read in the morning, a daily magazine almost; now this thin, flabby thing is thrown upon my doorstep that is so much easier to skim online. Continue reading “The Dying Thing”

September 11, Loved Alone

For the error bred in the bone
Of each woman and each man
Craves what it cannot have,
Not universal love
But to be loved alone.

What striking words. I am certain they apply to 9/11. All I remember of that heart-sinking day was a call from a friend. New York, she cried, Turn on the TV! So I watched it live nearly from the start. One piece of video I wish I’d saved, now. Yes, there’s endless bits on the web. But I never found the footage I’m about to describe.
Continue reading “September 11, Loved Alone”

Send Me A Letter

Come down here and be my house monk. Course you can’t do that. Kids and all. And I am so much older than I used to be. I no longer look or feel very foxy, although god knows of course that I am a good-looking woman. Some things never change. I was watching Otis Redding at Monterey Pop, a time seemed to last forever, then. I don’t think I could bear to watch it if I didn’t, in some far corner of my dreams, think it could all happen again. Or never ended. Right, and Otis is not dead. He was twenty-five at the time of those incredible recordings. Twenty-five and bursting with a talent it’s hard to account for, with soul and good looks. Good moves. What if someone like that had lived?
Continue reading “Send Me A Letter”

Don’t Go There


Here’s a question we Israelis won’t ask ourselves about the Palestinians, especially not about Gaza. The question is taboo. Not only won’t anyone ask it out loud, but very, very few people will dare ask it in the privacy of their own minds …

… The question we have to ask ourselves is this: If anybody treated us like we’re treating the people in Gaza, what would we do? We don’t want to go there, do we? And because we don’t, we make it our business not to see, hear or think about how, indeed, we are treating the people in Gaza.

All these shocked dignitaries, all these reports, these details, these numbers—thousands of destroyed this and tens of thousands of destroyed that. Rubble, sewage, malnutrition, crying babies, humanitarian crises—who can keep up? Who cares? They did it to themselves. Where to for lunch?
Rattling the Cage |  Larry Derfner

Interesting. The question of empathy is everywhere in a suffering world. Israel presents us with a special picture precisely because of the overwhelming suffering of the Jews. Okay, sixty years ago, but clearly, something snapped in the Zionist brain. Trauma will do that—and I, for one, can attest to PSTD lasting a lifetime. Why? Because trauma occurs somewhere out of ordinary time, and is by nature unclassifiable, overwhelming. If the mind could deal with it, we wouldn’t have PSTD, now, would we. In some remote part of memory, the original event continues to thrive afresh, stimulated by reminders large and small. And traumatized people hurt other people. It’s a pity, but it happens.

But what happens when a nation, an entire people, turn upon those whose suffering so painfully replicates their own? Apparently so much so that from the get go, the Holocaust survivors—the most displaced souls on earth, then—couldn’t for the life of them understand why the Palestinians might have been a teensy bit upset at the loss of their homeland. Talk about acting out. Talk about unbearable ironies. When does post-trauma turn into villainy? When are people responsible for behaving well toward others—meaning, with empathy—for transcending their own pain?

For this is what we ask of adults, in this world.

Which is not to say that any of this is easy.

{from the March 2010 notebooks}